By: Lanetra Bennett
November 10, 2015
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor is calling on FAMU's board of trustees to resolve contract issues with two former coaches.
Proctor says Former Football Coach Earl Holmes, and Former Basketball Coach Clemon Johnson should get what's owed to them.
Proctor says his appeal is not political. He says he's speaking as a minister because he says it's a moral issue.
He wants the former coaches -- who were both fired last year -- to get paid from their contracts.
He's asking FAMU Trustees to make it a priority to resolve contract agreements.
Proctor says Johnson and Holmes should be treated more fair, as both are hall-of-famers who went to FAMU High and the university.
He said, "I know that two men got families. They've given their hearts. CJ moved from 3,000 something miles over here. How you tell a man to move from across the world on the other side of Canada, and come and take a job back at home, fire him and don't give him his money? They need their money, and I want them to have it."
Johnson was fired after three seasons with a 32-64 record. Holmes was fired two days before last year's homecoming game with a 6-16 record in less than two years.
Tim Jansen -- the attorney for both former coaches -- says he can't discuss the contracts because of pending litigation. But he says Holmes and Johnson appreciate the support.
FAMU says it cannot comment because this is a personnel and ongoing legal matter.
The following is the letter that Bill Proctor sent to the Board of Trustees:
November 10, 2015
Mr. Kelvin Lawson, Chairman
Florida A&M University Board of Trustees
Florida A&M University
Tallahassee, FL 32307
Dear Chairman Lawson and BOT Members:
I call upon you as a moral and humanistic request that you expedite a resolution that honors the employment contracts between Florida A&M University and former Coaches Clemon Johnson and Earl Holmes.
Both Earl Holmes and Clemon Johnson graduated from Florida A&M University and FAMU High School. They are revered as two of FAMU’s All-Time greatest players. Clemon Johnson’s jersey hangs in the rafters of the Al Lawson Arena as a tribute to his excellence as a player. Both men are members of FAMU’s Sports Hall of Fame.
For over a year now these two great sons of FAMU have not been paid per the terms of their employment contracts. They were fired unceremoniously and without notice, warning or due process.
The heartless massacre of their coaching careers at the hands of their own Alma Mata is shameful by any moral, legal or community standard. FAMU, it appears, does not respect the dignity of its own athletic sons and alumni by failing to pay these men on terms that FAMU established in the contract it offered Holmes and Johnson to sign.
What does it say about a university that treats its all time greatest sons with such inhumane and callous indifference? It is unclear to me and a few others why the university has treated Earl and CJ with such contempt and disdain. These coaches did not terminate themselves as employees and they did not abandon their roles as coaches.
Has either Earl or CJ committed an egregious error or heinous act that serves as a legal basis to deny paying them? Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us again and FAMU still neglects to perform its legal obligations per its own employment contract with its own Hall of Fame sons.
As the holiday season approaches, I call upon you to interject a metric of compassion, moral decency and the Golden Rule in fulfilling the legal financial responsibilities owed to Clemon Johnson and Earl Holmes as former coaches. Treating these two former premier Rattler players with the respect they deserve would be a start to healing deep wounds the Tallahassee community feels in seeing these sons of FAMU and Tallahassee wrongfully treated before and after being fired.
As Christian men and women, I request that you honor sons of God and brothers in Christ to you all. In the name of Jesus the Christ please treat Earl Holmes and Clemon Johnson with the love and respect that Christian men of God and faith deserve.
Feel free to contact me directly if you are not comfortable reaching out to the Lord God for further input. Just call me at (850) 606-5371.
Thank you very much for making the lives, hearts and spirits of Coach Johnson and Holmes feel brighter for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays of 2015. Their families and members of the Tallahassee Community will feel brighter too.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
William C. Proctor, Jr.
Bethel A.M.E. Church
cc: Clemon Johnson
Attorney Avery McKnight
President Elmira Mangum
Board of Governors
Reverend Julius McAllister
Reverend Stanley Walker
Reverend R.B. Holmes